{eco travels} sustainable belgium: brussels vegan café guide

before embarking on my journey through belgium, i read about its rich history, its florid architecture, its diversified culture and its golden waffles, of course. i also read about the adventures in veggie restaurants that await intrepid travelers. what does the vegan restaurant scene look like and does a crispy vegan version of the legendary belgium waffle really exist? today we explore the eateries that offer healthy fare to keep voyagers' energy levels naturally elevated + spirits sky high:

just as the sight of fantastical castles saturates the landscape {i learned that belgium has more castles than any other country}, the light scent of cake batter, warm waffles in the making, permeates the air in brussels, a truly palatable + pleasing combination indeed. prior to my arrival, i searched high + low for a vegan cafe/resto guide to brussels, asking fellow bloggers + reaching out to instagram friends. there were several tips, but no definitive guides; i did stumble across this vegan eats guide unexpectedly, a gift from the great google gods, but the truth is, the vegan waffle seemed only a myth until i ventured out of brussels. this is a selection of veggie cafes, offering plant-strong vegan options and yes, the fluffy, fabled belgium waffle does exist:

{ C H Y L }

chyl cafe: {vegetarian + vegan}: chyl is a one-stop shop, offering a charming cafe {reservations highly recommended} and a grocery store chock-full of bath + beauty products, dry goods sold by the bulk, fresh + organic produce, and fun snacks + mealtime ingredients from a plethora of sustainable food companies. i discovered that chyl also offers housing; move over airbnb. if you like sleek minimalism, check out their bright + stylish rooms. chyl cafe promises "a bright spot in the middle of the city where time stands still, if only for a little while." 62 rue de belle-vue, 1000 brussels / +32 2 648 34 76

{ D O L M A }

dolma restaurant {vegetarian + vegan}:  serving vegetarian + vegan cuisine since 1973, dolma restaurant's motto is "infinietely veggie" and they have a beautiful buffet, with a seemingly limitless reserve of local + organic ingredients. menu offerings include in-season vegetable tarts, soups and + salads and of course tasty desserts. dolma also has a grocery store nearby offering bath + beauty products, household products, and fresh fruits, vegetables + healthy ingredients for those who want to cook up nutritious meals in the comfort of their own home. 329 chaussée d’ixelles, 1050 brussels / quartier flagey / +32 2  649 89 81


{ M O O N  F O O D }

moon food {fully vegan}: touts itself as the first vegan cafe in brussels. this is the place for raw, vegan + gluten-free options including veggie wraps + lasagna as well as freshly-baked breads. detox juices + snacks for take away available. desserts include sweet treats like orange + apple pie, cheesecake + pistache matcha crumble. 58 rue des colonies, 1000 bruxelles / +32 2 303 43 32




{ A M I }

ami cafe {vegetarian + vegan}: serving gourmet, modern vegetarian + vegan cuisine, ami offers sandwiches, croquemonsieurs, mixed salads, soups, veggie burgers and more. their motto is "a contribution of freshness and originality." this is a charming cafe with a warm atmosphere + quaint outdoor terrace. 13 rue lesbroussart, 1050 brussels / +32 2 646 88 41


{ L A  G R A N E R I E }

la granerie {fully vegan}: la grainerie is a grocery store specializing in superfoods and dried products by weight, all sans packaging; a small coffee shop onsite offers snacks + refreshments. also a 100% vegan caterer offering a range of plant-strong options for special events + occasions. 112 rue de tenbosch , 1050 brussels / +32 2 217 98 27

**the belgium waffle in vegan form does truly exist. it is like the white giraffe, rarely seen but surely non-fictional. a short trip to antwerp revealed a little vegan + gluten-free bakery crafting cloudlike waffles with deep pockets that i recommend to every traveler who wishes to partake in this delectable delicacy {gluten-free version available}. more travel adventures + healthy eats tips to come fellow voyagers.

{don't forget the tip} it's important to remember that the restaurant landscape changes often, so call ahead to make sure each eatery is open. holiday closings might coincide with your lofty eating plans}.

next week we'll be bouncing around brussels' sustainable fashion landscape. stay tuned!

until next time, stay green dear hearts!

{images by ev // interiors via happy, veggie cafes} 

{eco travel} sustainable new york: 24 hours in the big green apple

a 24-hour photocentric + foodcentric jaunt through the city that never sleeps {well, sometimes it does, but we're heading to the places that are up early in the morning + stay open late into the wee hours of the night}. we're doing new york the plant-powered + eco way. welcome to the big green apple.

okay, so you've been to the guggenheim museum, toured the metropolitan museum of art, stood wide eyed before the lady of liberty, and traversed through central park. now it's time to really dig in, boys + girls. these are the places to sate your appetite; veggie eats + sustainable sites ahead:

b r e a k f a s t // l i t t l e  c h o c  a p o t h e c a r y

this is little choc apothecary. the first time i had a crêpe was in france. and it was magnifique. but that was ten years ago.

a crêpe is a moist, warm pastry: a thin, porous pancake envelopes sweet or savory fillings; think chocolate, berries + bananas or fresh veggies. as someone who is both plant powered + gluten free, i've hoped to bump into a venue that creates veg friendly + gf crêpes. i've been waiting, yes, patiently, since i first had that delectable dessert ten years ago.

the wait is finally over. and it was well worth it, my friends.

l a   c r ê p e

this is the toasted almond + clotted cream crêpe with fresh, nectarous raspberry sauce {fruits + veggies come from local farms}. it was so good it was disorienting.

t e a   t i m e 

expect a vast selection of healing teas + vitalizing sunlight spilling into every corner of this cafe {it rivals the most charming cafes in paris}. happy plants abound + dulcet french music fills the air. the warm + inviting atmosphere is perfect for getting writing or work done.

i would plan an entire trip to new york around the crêpes at this cafe. yes, they're that good.

s h e ' s  t h e  b o s s

this is julia kravets, fashion model + fearless entrepreneur; pioneer of plant-based pastries + healthy eats chef. she is the proprietress of this first fully vegan + gluten-free crêperie in new york city. in my book, she's the boss of brooklyn.

l u n c h // c l e m e n t i n e   b a k e r y

this is clementine bakery

. the folks here refer to themselves as the friendly neighborhood cake dealers. and they are also wheeling + dealing the best vegan, gluten-free bagels this gal has had in years.

b r i g h t   l i g h t s ,  b i g   c a f e

this sunny, wide open space offers a restrained palette of white walls + blonde wood + plenty of green-leafed friends. a cheerful milieu for families + meet ups with friends.

t h e  b i g  c h e e s e

this is a before picture. see that bagel in the background with just a smidge of vegan cream cheese? well, i asked for another round of cream cheese {the truth is, if i could, i would have ordered an entire vat of it}, well hmph, the after picture never happened.

as you can guess, i ate it too quickly.

this here is the schmancy sandwich with baked tofu, spinach, avocado, pesto + the most flavor one can possibly pack into a simple, yet deeply satisfying menu offering. oh my little heart.

d i n n e r // c h a m p s

champs diner is the place for all the comfort food you can dream up. and more 90's music than you ever thought was possible to resurrect. tater tots, nachos + m.c. hammer? yes, ma'am. hot dogs, philly cheese "steak", cauliflower po boys, frothy shakes + greasy fries. yesss. and breakfast food for dinner. mhmm. we only live once, so go on + do it {unless you believe in reincarnation}, then you should still do it. in this lifetime + in the next.

b r o o k l y n   f a s h i o n   +   d e s i g n   a c c e l e r a t o r

this is me at the brooklyn fashion + design accelerator. where exactly is ethical fashion born? forget stories of storks, this is where all good things take shape in the world of sustainable fashion in new york. bfda is a hub that provides pioneering designers with the resources they need to transform their ideas into successful green businesses.

z e r o   w a s t e   d r e a m s

some of my fave ethical fashion companies are headquartered here including men's clothier glass house shirtmakers + study ny. if you're in the area + are interested in learning more about the world of eco textiles + fair trade fashion, definitely call to set up a time to pop in for a tour. i might be biased, but the tour guide, faye lessler, is not only one super stylish gal, she's also smart + informed, and she is the brilliant mind that has brought to life one of my fave eco lifestyle blogs sustaining life. bfda also has a dynamite blog. can't get enough of either. both blogs are worth bookmarking + adding to your feedly queue.

l e   c h a t

this is poncho. the brooklyn apartment i stayed at came fully equipped with the most gracious host + hostess, artists + activists who shared similar values, oh and to my surprise, this sweet + cuddly cat. yes, it was one happy trip.

for the definite list of new york city vegan + vegetarian restaurants, visit activist + model renee peters's plant-based restaurant guide at model 4 green living. renee is kind of amazing, and her exhaustive list of veg venues in nyc is pretty near perfect. 

until next time, stay green dear hearts! ♥

{images by ev // image of yours truly by the lovely miss lessler}